Odds & Ends

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I got a V Day mani, because yeah, I’m THAT person.  Call it a Hallmark holiday, but I love Valentine’s Day!  Always have, always will and you can’t take that away from me.

On Monday, I was so NOT into going to the gym.  So I didn’t.  Trying to be better about trusting my gut when I make decisions and my gut was saying, “you should take it easy instead.”  Plus I actually fell asleep in the car while Joey was driving us home.

Tuesday was National Pancake Day and Mardi Gras.  Does it get any better than that?!  I ate a flight of pancakes at Snooze but what I’m always more excited about is making Red Beans and Rice.  I’m straight up DELIGHTED  every time I open the pressure cooker to find beans and pickled pork that are cooked to perfection.

It’s been nice this week (and next!) and it’s making me so antsy and excited about SPRING.  Inevitably, it will snow in March and I will remember that it’s still winter.  Shudder!

I spent a large chunk of time researching Chemex brewing methods this week after we brewed two batches of what I’d call coffee flavored water.  Detailed notes were taken, a kitchen scale was purchased and I’m determined to make perfect coffee tomorrow.

I’m all about Revive Kombucha right now.  GT’s is still great and all, but I’m realizing there are plenty of other brands that have interesting flavors and don’t taste mostly like carbonated sugar.  Revive favorites include Coffee Brew and Genmaicha Brew.  Try it!

We went to Zoe Ma Ma last week and it made me think we should be having casual Wednesday night noodle dinners more often.  Ain’t nothing wrong with leaving the couch (and Netflix!) for a night to treat yourself to some steamed buns, potstickers and a big bowl of saucy noodles.

I’ve been going to yoga!  I haven’t had a consistent yoga schedule since we moved to Denver and had been making excuses like “it’s too expensive,” “I don’t know which studio to go to,” “parking will be a nightmare,” and “I won’t know anyone and I’ll feel dumb!”  And then I remembered I took myself to a book club where I didn’t know anyone and that turned out fine, so I could totally do this new yoga studio thing.  I’M SO HAPPY TO BE BACK.

Ugh, by the way, I’m well aware how long it’s taking me to post the next chapter of our trip to Hawaii, but here’s the thing… I do not enjoy editing photos.  Every night/weekend, I think to myself, “I’m gonna edit those photos!”  And then almost ANYTHING else sounds more fun and I end up procrastinating another day.  One day, one day.

Do you have weekend plans?  Tell me, tell me!

 

Super Bowl Weekend Things

SUCH. A GOOD. WEEKEND.

And not even just because the Broncos won the Super Bowl.  Though I’d say that played a significant role.  Other factors being steak dinners, a brewery visit, back to back nights at the movie theater, coffee in our new Chemex, a facial, Valentine’s crafts and… ordering groceries online!!!  Trying to pretend I’m more excited about the Broncos than having my groceries show up at my door while I’m still in my pajamas at noon.

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Friday night, Joey made THIS!  And this would be steak and creamy chive potatoes, a recipe I’ve been hoarding for months and finally put on our weekly menu.  GUYS!  It was life changing.  I don’t even really like potatoes and I wanted to eat the entire batch.  Full disclosure: we used almond milk, so basically the opposite of the half and half it called for, but it was still so creamy and perfect.

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And then we grabbed a beer at Baere Brewing before seeing the Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts at the Mayan.  I’ll be honest, though there were a couple of more lighthearted ones, the majority of the shorts were intense.  Since they come from a variety of countries, a lot of them are religious or political and I always wish I had more context or knew more about the history of other countries, but even so, it is INSANE how powerful these short films are.  It blew us away.  Unanimous favorite was “Stutterer.”  So sweet!

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I semi-jokingly told Joey I wasn’t going to be able to sleep on Friday because I was too excited for coffee and pancakes on Saturday morning.  We’d been using a regular coffee machine but it started doing this thing where we’d put six cups of water in and three cups of coffee would come out.  I’d had it with that thing so we decided to get a new one and then decided to make the leap into the world of Chemex brewing.  Many YouTube videos have been watched.  We still need some practice but dang, that coffee tasted good.

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I made honey-sesame pancakes to go with and I’m maybe thinking of posting the recipe because I love the flavor combo that much.  What do you think?  Spontaneous cleaning energy appeared post-breakfast (thanks, coffee!) and then right in the middle of cleaning our living room, my groceries showed up!

I have a co-worker who swears by ordering her groceries online and I have always laughed at her because I LOVE grocery shopping but after spending FIFTEEN MINUTES finding a parking spot last week I was so NOT into going during Super Bowl weekend.  You have no idea how delighted I was about the whole experience.  I probably won’t make it a weekly thing, but I’m definitely keeping that option in my back pocket for when life is busy and I just feel like making things easier.

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Later on, I got a facial, visited my mom and came home to find that Joey had hung up this adorable little sign my brother and sister-in-law got us for Christmas.  Then we decided Friday night was so good that we should just repeat it.  So we pulled out the steak and potato leftovers, then headed to a movie.  We really liked Spotlight and thought it was so well-told and acted.  Though it really takes you out of the moment when Mark Ruffalo is right in the middle of a passionate rant and the person behind you says “Do you want some more popcorn?”  Movie talkers are THE WORST.

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Sunday started with breakfast, the gym and all those fun adult chores like laundry and making lunch for the week.  Side Note: We made salad jars for grab and go lunching and I’m seriously excited about it.  Then we headed over to the Super Bowl party and poured ourselves some cups of Oatmaha.  I’ll tell you the vibe at this year’s party was SO MUCH BETTER than it was two years ago.

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I wish I had taken a video of all the cheering that was going on during this game!  People were screaming, Josh was lifting Hannah in the air, mass hysteria was everywhere.  Seriously so funny to watch.  I kind of wished I was more into football for a minute.  But just for that minute :)  But I got to see a Beyoncé-Bruno “Uptown Funk” collab AND I won $80 on prop bets, so I basically won the Super Bowl too, right?  Oh and how amazing was it when John Elway was like “This one’s for Pat!”  And I was like “YEAH!!!!”  Even though I had just learned who Pat was two hours earlier…

Happy Monday!  It’s totally Mardi Gras tomorrow, so that’s something to be excited about.

A Book Review: The Paying Guests

“My wife, the rare library card holder.”  This is how Joey described me as we drove to the Denver Public Library a few weeks ago.  That’s right, I DO go to the library still and I kind of LOVE it.  As soon as I walk in, I feel such a sense of inner peace.  This is my place and these are my people.  But being a library goer also means waiting for the books you want to read, having to return books when you haven’t finished them yet, and the worst… waiting weeks then getting slammed with three books at the same time.  Book time management is the name of the game.

I was lucky enough to be able to check The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters out with plenty of time to spare before January Book Club and actually finished it weeks ahead of time.  Gold star for me!  I also made it through this one pretty quickly, though that doesn’t necessarily mean I liked it.

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I’ll spare you the recap and just say that my biggest issue with this book was that it seemed to have a split-personality plot disorder.  Meaning, it was headed one direction for the first half of the book, then BAM! took a turn in the middle and went a different path entirely.  Our meeting was really interesting because it was pretty divided between those who were really into the first half of the book and not so into the second half and those who felt the exact opposite.  (Or those who just straight hated the whole thing, start to finish…).

As for me, I’m choosing to focus on the redeeming factors.  The historical fiction aspect — it takes place in post-WWII England — and the actual writing, which I thought was well done and especially descriptive.  Sarah Waters was such an expert in the way she described the house that most of the plot took place in.  You could just picture it so clearly and it wasn’t until after our meeting that I realized how big of a roll that house played.  If only the plot had been a little more focused and the ending hadn’t wrapped up a little too cleanly to be realistic.

Have you read The Paying Guests?

What are you reading right now?

Do you have a library card?

Weekend Things

If someone were to ask “how was your weekend?” I’m positive, I would gush “WONDERFUL!”  And then rattle off a list of small things, that on their own don’t amount to much, but all together made the weekend so perfect.  And that’s what life is really all about, right?  A compilation of small occurrences that add up to something big and beautiful.  Life is so so good.

Warning: I watched a lot of things and ate a lot of things this weekend.  Proceed with caution.IMG_1242It was a toss up between Friday night dinner and a movie, or living the homebody life and doing that leftovers and Netflix thing.  Guess which one won!  We found two of the Oscar-nominated documentaries to watch, shared a maple walnut cookie in our pajamas and everything was just as it should be.  We liked What Happened, Miss Simone? much better than Cartel Land but let’s be real, neither of them were Making a Murderer :P

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This is why I don’t make waffles.  The batter was SO runny and I knew better, but I poured it in anyway.  I think half of it leaked out as soon as I closed the lid and the rest completely stuck to the top and bottom of the waffle maker.  For the record, this did not stop Joey and I from picking pieces of the massacred waffle out and eating it with our fingers.  Flavor (sesame-honey!) was spot on.  I used the leftover batter to make the world’s flattest pancakes.  It was sad, but also delicious.

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60° in January?  Yes please!  We took ourselves out for a run — the first outdoor run of the year, to be exact — and the weather could not have been more perfect.  The way we were talking and taking it slow, you would have thought it was our first run in years.  Now I’m just longing for spring weather and lots more outdoor running opportunities.  Too bad it’s supposed to snow ALL DAY today…Read More »